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Until you make one thousand
of a form, the potter warned,
you will not truly understand it.
He strode from student
to student smashing down
imperfect cylinders they'd pleaded
upward out of mud.
Think of this in yoga class, aching up
into the seven-hundredth downward
facing dog, still comprehending only clumsiness.
Think of this in the marriage bed
with your new husband. Pray you both live
long enough to make the one thousandth reprise.
Think of the ash tree, bringing forth
new thousands of leaves in perfection
each spring: tossing them lightly
away in fall.
Think of writing one thousand
sonnets, one thousand sestinas, one
Think of relinquishing
hope of understanding
“At once wild and disciplined, [Cabanis-Brewin] is a trustworthy guide ‘around the weedrank barnyard,’ ‘into the tunnel of rhododendron’ and beyond ‘the dark iris of the mind.’ You come too.”
—R.T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review
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